Sunday, February 28, 2010

Acorns and Dreams, Dante's Voyage

An acorn is food to some while to others a dream. A squirrel scurries across the meadow that glistens and ripples in the warm sunlight; a meadow bristling with life. The meadow is circled by towering oak trees, massive towers of timeless strength and endurance that rise above the mist. The squirrel is busy gathering food in the warmth before the cold winter sets in and snatches all the tiny acorns he can find. Returning to his borough, in his haste a stray acorn falls to the ground. A tiny acorn once destined to feed a family of squirrels has now become a dream, a dream of the forest. Through the cycle of seasons, time after time this same process creates new forest and new life. In Dante’s Inferno there is another “acorn” that falls to the ground. There is another source of change, of dreams becoming reality. In allegory, the squirrel represents Dante, the meadow represents Hades, and the acorns represent truth. So that before the cold winter of death claims Dante, by entering the Inferno he hopes to gather all the “acorns” of truth he can that will give him fuller meaning to this present life. These acorns fall into the soil of his being giving birth to new life and wisdom for Dante. Through his journeys chronicled in the Inferno Dante is able to gather truth, insight, and a clearer perception of justice. Dante grows as the mighty oaks that have their beginnings in a tiny acorn. However, just as in the forest, growth is not always easy or is the way of growth always marked with clarity.
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